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Online MS Human Resource Management Curriculum

People, not policies, are the most valuable asset to organizations, which is why the most successful seek out skilled human resource managers to attract and retain top talent.

The Mitchell E. Daniels, Jr. School of Business prepares students to lead organizations in workforce management through its Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) aligned curriculum that is designed to develop core and specialized skills that will improve organizations, facilitate positive change and increase performance.

SHRM Alignment

Purdue University’s Human Resource Management programs feature curriculum that aligns with the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM) HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates.

Throughout the world, more than 500 programs in approximately 425 educational institutions have been acknowledged by SHRM as being in alignment with its suggested guides and templates. The HR Curriculum Guidebook and Templates were developed by SHRM to define the minimum HR content areas that should be studied by HR students at the undergraduate and graduate levels. The guidelines — created in 2006 and revalidated in 2010, 2013 and 2017 — are part of SHRM’s Academic Initiative to define HR education standards taught in university business schools and help universities develop degree programs that follow these standards.

SHRM is the world’s largest association devoted to human resource management. The Society serves the needs of HR professionals and advances the interests of the HR profession. Founded in 1948, SHRM has more than 300,000 members in over 160 countries and more than 575 affiliated chapters.

Your Coursework



Online MSHRM students must complete 30 hours of coursework including HR strategy, behavior management, talent acquisition, talent management, and rewards and compensation as well as industry specific electives for specialization and general business electives to round out your expertise.

Foundational Courses - 4 Credits

This is an introductory course on the topic of strategic human resource management. As such, our discussions will focus on HR from the C suite level. We will explore how human resource professionals can assist management in meeting its various goals and objectives. Finally, within this course there will be a strategic HR project included which will require you to survey various theories and techniques used in human resource management within organizations that require HRM to function in a strategic manner. Emphasis is placed on HRM, Strategic HRM, Managing Human Resources Globally, and Strategically Managing Human Resource Functions.
Individual and group behavior are the central components of the study of behavior in organizations. The course focuses on the managerial application of knowledge to issues such as motivation, group processes, leadership, organizational design structure, and others. The course employs cases, exercises, discussions, and lectures.

Core Courses - 6 credits

This course focuses on the effective management of the flow of talent into and through organizations. It covers workforce planning, recruiting and selection, career transitions, and other workforce flows. It is designed to teach students the skills to recruit and select the best talent to help drive organizational strategy. Students will also learn how to design a process and framework for final individual or group selection. Lastly, they will learn several strategies to successfully orient and onboard new employees.
This course focuses on the employer-employee relationship and how managers work with employees to improve their performance. Attention is given to talent, talent management, and performance management in work settings, with an emphasis on contemporary approaches to managing the employer-employee relationship and the systems for managing talent.
This course will focus on the tangible and intangible aspects of compensation. Using the lens of a total reward philosophy, we will examine how an organization attracts, motivates and retains employees, including scientists and engineers. While preparing students to build a fair and responsible compensation system, this course examines the underlying elements of alignment with an organization’s strategy and business model, internal and external competitiveness, and benefits. We will discuss relevant psychological and economic theories. We will also discuss how compensation impacts society, including topics most relevant student as well as living wage, essential workers and executive compensation.

Human Resource Electives – At least 6 credits

This course focuses on leadership in organizations and invites you on a journey of personal exploration, understanding and development. Leadership develops over time through repetition, feedback and self-reflection. The overall goal of this course is to provide information and tools that will guide you toward becoming a more effective leader by increasing your conceptual understanding of key leadership principles and strategies utilized within formal organizations, deepening your knowledge of important interpersonal relationship skills and abilities, and helping discover important insights into oneself and others as a leader (including strengths and weaknesses/opportunities for personal growth).
This course focuses on developing your negotiating skills and making you a more confident negotiator. By the conclusion of this course, you will have improved your ability to diagnose negotiation situations, strategize and plan upcoming negotiations, and engage in more fruitful negotiations, even in situations where you are dealing with difficult negotiation counterparts. Because negotiating agreements is as much art as science, learning in this course will take place mainly by doing experiential exercises and will draw on negotiations research to supplement this learning.
The purpose of this course is to provide you with essential tools and concepts you need to help create and sustain needed change in your personal and/or professional life, your work teams and your organizations. The course is taught in an executive-style format intended for working future managers. Emphasis is placed on knowledge application and experiential learning.

Some of the EDCI (Instructional Design) certificate* courses may fulfill your elective requirements for the human resource program. you may select up to three of these eight courses (nine credit hours) to fulfill your electives.

  • EDCI 53100 – Learning Theory and Instructional Design (3 credits)
  • EDCI 57200 – Learning Systems Design (3 credits)
  • EDCI 51300 – Foundations of Learning Design and Technology (3 credits)
  • EDCI 52800 – Human Performance Technology (3 credits)
  • EDCI 56900 – Introduction to E-Learning (3 credits)
  • EDCI 57500 – Foundations of Distance Education (3 credits)
  • EDCI 58800 – Motivation and Instructional Design (3 credits)
  • EDCI 63300 – Instructional Design Project Management (3 credits)

Visit the Instructional Design Graduate Certificate Courses page for course descriptions.

Some students may be interested in pursuing an instructional design certificate to add onto your MSHRM. If you are interested in earning the certificate, work with your advisor for specifics.
Note: Tuition will be assessed based on your primary program, which is the Online MSHRM program.

Additional Electives - up to 14 credits

Students may choose elective courses to suit their individual interests. They may use as additional electives any MGMT, ECON or OBHR courses or credits that they have NOT used for filling other requirements. Courses taken from OBHR electives in excess of 6 hours will count as additional electives.

Plan of Study

The Online MSHRM at the Daniels School of Business helps students elevate their careers and prepares them to lead people and enhance organizations. You’ll learn to make informed, data-driven decisions, from compensation negotiations to leading change, that make you a vital member of your desired organization. With a wide variety of electives, you’ll acquire the skills you need to further your career and reach your aspirations.

If you’re considering similar residential or non-degree program offerings, compare the curriculum of our Online MS in Human Resource Management (OMSHRM) degree with that of our MSHRM residential program or explore our Online Fundamentals of Human Resources Graduate Certificate.

Explore the Residential MSHRM Program
Explore the Graduate Certificate

Want to Learn More?

If you would like to receive more information about the Online MSHRM program at Purdue, please fill out the form and a program specialist will be in touch.


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